Scientific consensus shows that increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide contribute significantly to rising sea levels, extreme weather events and degradation of natural resources. These trends threaten national security, human health, food supply, natural ecosystems and global economies. Climate change clearly is one of the biggest global crises of the 21st century.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) asserts that architects play a vital role in combating climate change. Buildings are major producers of carbon, so climate change poses both major obstacles and opportunities for the profession. We accept these challenges. We call on policymakers to join with us in this effort, and we uphold the following principles:
- The United States must lead the fight against climate change. The federal government must maintain America’s global leadership in the design and construction of carbon neutral buildings. Current federal policies that set goals by 2030 for carbon neutrality in federal buildings are already creating major advances in energy efficient design.
- We believe that the business case for reducing the carbon footprint of buildings is stronger than ever before. Studies show that sustainable and energy efficient buildings command rent premiums of 2 percent to 8 percent, occupancy increases of 3 percent to 10 percent and sales premiums of 3 percent to 12 percent. High performance and sustainable homes in the Washington, DC market command sales premiums of 3.5 percent. (Source: Energy Efficiency in Separate Tenant Spaces – A Feasibility Study)
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